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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – August 31, 2011: Pressing the Cosmic Reset Button

Reading Comics author Douglas Wolk runs down the hottest comics and graphic novels coming out this week.

KEY:
* Big guns
^ Big swords
% Big chops

* ^ ABC WARRIORS: THE BLACK HOLE
This is the second collection of stories involving Pat Mills’ robot-warrior team–essentially a cross between Metal Men and Sgt. Rock, but with space-fantasy thrown in; this one reprints an extended storyline written by Mills and drawn by Simon Bisley and SMS. There’s also a short piece drawn by Steve Dillon, who doesn’t seem like the most likely candidate in this particular context.% AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #668
Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos continue the “Spider-Island” event, which so far seems to be taking itself refreshingly not-all-that-seriously. Also this week: Spider-Island: Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1, the first of a three-issue tie-in by Antony Johnston and Sebastian Fiumara.

* % ANY EMPIRE
Nate Powell’s new graphic novel is a heartbreaker–a gently paced, not-particularly-realism-bound story about how kids’ fantasy lives (and the cheap entertainment that fuels them) can shape their real lives, and ultimately ruin them. Great stuff.

% GREEN RIVER KILLER: A TRUE DETECTIVE STORY
Jeff Jensen and Jonathan Case’s book of comics reportage about the ’70s-era Seattle serial killer has one subtle selling point–Case is a very good young cartoonist–and one much less subtle one: Jensen is the son of the detective who investigated the case.

^ % HONDO CITY LAW
At first I’d thought this was a new edition of Shimura, the volume that DC/Rebellion published back in 2004, collecting writer Robbie Morrison’s Japanese-based Judge Dredd spinoff. In fact, it only overlaps by a couple of pieces–the two Shimura stories, from 1993 and 1996, that were drawn by Frank Quitely. The rest is Morrison and Andy Clarke’s 2004 Shimura serials “Executioner” and “Deus X,” Morrison and Neil Googe’s Judge Inspector Inaba story “Hondo City Justice” from last year, and John Wagner and Colin MacNeil’s 1989 Judge Dredd story “Our Man in Hondo,” which established the Hondo City setting.

* JUDGE DREDD: THE RESTRICTED FILES 03
Just to clarify, this is the British series of reprints (Midtown lists ‘em, Diamond often doesn’t) that handles the canonical Judge Dredd stories that didn’t appear in 2000 AD or Judge Dredd Megazine proper–in annuals and specials and such. This volume covers the 1990-1993 extras. It’s an odd grab-bag of stuff, with twelve different writers and… a whole lot of artists represented, but it includes John Wagner and Colin MacNeil’s “Top Dogs” (a teamup with Strontium Dog), work by Paul Grist, Peter Milligan, Shaky Kane and Ian Gibson, and a story called “Jonathan Livingston Dog-Vulture.”

* ^ JUSTICE LEAGUE #1
The new DC Universe’s flagship book, by two of the comics line’s power triumvirate. Who wants to take a guess at the first issue that 1) misses its solicited release date 2) is not drawn by Jim Lee 3) is not written by Geoff Johns?

% LITTLE LULU’S PAL TUBBY: THE ATOMIC VIOLIN AND OTHER STORIES
John Stanley and Lloyd White, being fun.

% MOME VOL. 22
A double-sized farewell issue, with return visits from a lot of the artists who’ve graced it in the past. I really hope that some new, regular print vehicle takes the place of this within the comics ecosystem, but it doesn’t seem likely.

* ^ THE NEW TEEN TITANS OMNIBUS VOL. 1
If you were, as I was, ten years old when Marv Wolfman and George Pérez relaunched DC’s then-moribund team-of-sidekicks series, then you’re now potentially old enough to pay $75 for a hardcover of the first sixteen issues (plus the preview from DC Comics Presents #26). This is basically what the franchise has been trying to be ever since.

^ % THE STEVE DITKO OMNIBUS VOL. 1
400-plus pages of ’70s DC material by the great cracked talent of mainstream comics art: the most notable inclusion is the complete run of Shade, the Changing Man, whose presence on newsstands next to Archie and Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories was sort of like if there were powerful hallucinogens at the candy counter between the Dum Dums and the Bubblicious. Wonder if it’ll include the Cancelled Comic Cavalcade issue of Shade (#9) too?

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